Thought Bubbles...

musings, rantings, and what-have-you, about my own small part of the world, and my 'sometimes' not so-ordinary life...something to read and reflect on, and which hopefully will bring a smile to your face... :)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Ay, ay, ay, Inday!!!

Last night, for my speech #6 which is on "Vocal Variety", I delivered the following speech. 6 down, 4 more to go! :)

“Ay, ay, ay, Inday”

How many of you here have household help? Yes, mere mortals such as ourselves, but who we depend on to take care of our children, keep house for us, do the laundry, etc… basically, manage our home!

Growing up, my family wasn’t rich, but I hardly remember a time when we didn’t have any household help since both my parents worked full-time. Here in the Philippines, you don’t have to be rich to have a maid, even two!

So after countless years of having maids, and swapping stories with friends, I’ve actually collected so many stories about MAIDS, or the “Indays” in our lives... Come to think of it, I think an appropriate subtitle for this piece would be, “The Clue-less, the help-less and the dumb and the witless”.

The Clue-less… Maybe because their unschooled or simply were not properly trained, these maids made these mistakes. Please allow me to speak in Filipino in some instances so that you’ll better appreciate the impact of the message.

Incident #1 involves Ben and their maid…
B: Inday, paki-kuha mo nga sa ref yung ponkan
I: Opo, koya… Koya, wala pong ponkan sa rep…
B: Andun sa loob ng ref. sa may crisper…
I: Okay… (later) koya, wala po talagang ponkan sa rep…
B: Andun sabi sa ref, hanapin mo!
After the third failed attempt to locate it, Inday comes back and asks, "Koya, ano po ba ang ponkan?"

Ay, ay, ay, Inday…

Incident #2…
An American calls looking for my friend Ben.
A: Hello. I’d like to speak to Ben please
I: Wala po sha dito
A: I’m sorry, I’m afraid I can’t understand you. Can you please speak in English?
I: Helloh po, Sowri poh, wahlah poh shyah dhitoh (mimicking the American ‘twang’)

The second, the Help-less. These are the maids who would not just budge! They are not what you would call household help, since they’re hardly any help at all! They would be better off to be called as “utusan” or people who would only move when given orders! They don’t have any initiative. Take for instance, this maid we had before. While the family just finished eating dinner, there are other chores to be done around the house.. Inday is happily lounging on the sofa, with her feet on top of the coffee table, watching tv, and smoking! This prompted my younger brother to sarcastically ask, “Inday, gusto mo ng juice? Ipagtimpla kita!” (Inday, would you like some juice? I’ll make some for you!)

The dumb and the wit-less. This may seem pretty harsh, but listen to these stories, and decide for yourself.
Incident #1
After orienting our new maid on the use of the gas oven, washing machine, etc. I’m sitting quietly at home when I smell the distinct odor of gas. I go to the kitchen, and yes, as I assumed, the gas valve for one of the burners was on, but no flame. So I immediately turn it off, open all the windows, etc. And then I talk to Inday.
M: Inday, bakit iniwan mong bukas ang stove? Di ba sinabi ko naman sayo i-off mo yan?!
I: Ate, in-off ko naman po ah…
M: Wag ka nang mag-rason, kitang-kita kong naka-on yan kanina noh!
I: Ate, in-off ko talaga. Hinipan ko pa nga yung apoy eh!

Ay, ay, ay, Inday!!! GRRRRR…

Incident #2
My boss and his wife come home one Sunday from the wet market. They bring home a live chicken, and they ask their new maid, Inday, to “dress” the chicken, meaning pluck out all its feathers, clean it, then put it inside the ref. Hours later, upon opening the ref, there inside is the poor chicken, feathers all gone, but clucking and shaking. Yes, the POOR chicken was still alive, when Inday brutally plucked out its feathers one by one… I can imagine the chicken, thinking to itself, “Kill me now! Why are you torturing me?!”

Tsk, tsk, tsk… ay, ay, ay, Inday…

From these stories, it’s easy to easy how our instructions can be misinterpreted. Or really how narrow their thinking and understanding can sometimes be. So one thing to remember when dealing with our maids, is that we have to be VERY patient. As my dad always reminds me, our household help are unschooled, and thus, you have to know how to talk to them and deal with them at their level. If they were schooled, do you think they’d agree to be maids/yayas in the first place? No! Of course not! So knowing that they have “limitations” it’s up to us to relate to them at their level and make sure that we are understood.

Hay! With my kids’ new yaya, who has been with us all of 7 months and counting, she has had lapses as well. But these are things I can easily overlook especially since I see how attentive she is to my kids. Hopefully, I have finally found “the ONE” and that this ends my collecting stories on the “chronicles of….” Or the “adventures and misadventures of Inday”…

Good evening.

Lenten fast

Lent can be more than a time of fasting from food; it can be a season of feasting. We can use Lent to fast from certain things and feast on others. It is a season in which we can:

FAST from anger; FEAST on patience.
FAST from pessimism; FEAST on optimism.
FAST from worry; FEAST on God's providence.
FAST from complaining; FEAST on appreciation.
FAST from fault-finding; FEAST on one's goodness.
FAST from laziness; FEAST on enthusiasm.
FAST from idle gossip; FEAST on prayerful silence.
FAST from discontent; FEAST on gratitude.
FAST from bitterness; FEAST on forgiveness.
FAST from judging; FEAST on Christ's dwelling in people.
FAST from emphasis on differences; FEAST on the unity of life.
FAST from thoughts of illness; FEAST on the promises of God.
FAST from unrelenting pressures; FEAST on unceasing prayer.
FAST from hostility; FEAST on returning evil with good.


And here I was, just thinking of fasting, or refraining from eating meat this Lenten season… Easier said than done, but it WOULD be good to strive to fast and feast on the above suggestions. :)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Gardening 101

This was the 5th speech I delivered at my Toastmasters Club, last night 08 March 2006. :)

"Gardening 101"

When was the last time you received flowers? Maybe it was your birthday, or during your anniversary, or when you were sick and you got a ‘get well soon” bouquet, or “just because”! Or maybe you even got a bouquet last Valentine’s Day! Florists sure made a killing last V-day!

The guys probably couldn’t relate since I would think it’s rare for a guy to receive flowers. So as a message to the women here – maybe you should consider giving flowers to the men in your lives- your Dad, spouse, boyfriend… you know, just so they can relate! And maybe this will motivate them to give you flowers more often as well…(wink)

I HAVE always enjoyed receiving flowers. What woman doesn’t? Even if it’s from someone I like “just a little”… I still get kinda flustered, and flattered, and have this warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Admit it! Who here doesn’t want to receive a big bunch of beautiful, long stemmed, fragrant, flowers?! It doesn’t really matter what type of flowers, but between us girls, roses and tulips are the best.

And then I started thinking “WHY”? Why do I enjoy receiving flowers? I realized, it’s not the act of receiving flowers I enjoy, but the feeling I get whenever I receive flowers. Other females canrelate to the giddy, warm, fuzzy feeling you get whenever you receive flowers whether it’s a single stem or a whole bunch.

Since I love feeling this way, I began to think, what can I do so that I can feel this way anytime I want? Come to think of it, why should I wait for someone to give ME flowers, when I can plant my own garden?

So what did I come up with? What are things that I do, that gives me the same feeling, as if I received a big bouquet of wonderful, aromatic, flowers? For me, there are three things …

The first one is to SHARE
Share your blessings, your time, your money… Like in our case, our high school class is celebrating our “eherm” reunion next year so as early as now, we’ve thought of starting a fund-raising project to benefit the indigent students enrolled in our beloved alma mater… PUPLHS. This early, we’re collecting pledges, and have started planning how we want to share our blessings with our school and its current batch of students.

To share doesn’t have to be something so GRAND, as long as you’re sharing or giving from your heart. Let me cite another example. A friend of mine, Arnie, will celebrate her birthday soon. In the past, she lamented that she would spend thousands of pesos to treat her friends to a dance club, and get drunk! But this year, she wanted to do something different, and meaningful. And what did she come up with? Slippers! Yes, something so mundane and simple, BUT she’s giving these away to a depressed community near where she lives. She came up with this idea because each time she passes this area, she sees these little kids 3 or 4 years old, running in the streets, without slippers. And her heart went out to them. So instead of spending her money on a grand party, she bought slippers, all shapes and sizes, and got her friends involved as well by asking for pledges. So instead of giving her gifts, her friends were asked to give new slippers to be given away. Isn’t that so nice? I’m sure the feeling she gets when she gives away those slippers, will be like receiving a whole, big bunch of her favourite flowers! And that will surely make up hundredfold for her not having a party.

The second…is to CARE
To care means to look after, mind, minister, mother, nurse, nurture, protect, provide for… And do this for someone (or some thing) outside of ourselves. Of course we all care about our family and loved ones. And we’re there for them. Like for a friend who’s down in the dumps, why not treat her to coffee and lend her a shoulder to cry on, or an ear to listen. What else can we do? We can adopt a pet, or buy a plant! When you see how your pet dog values you, how your pet is so happy to see you when you get home, doesn’t THAT feel good? Or when a plant blossoms and blooms under your care, that also feels good! RIGHT?

The last and certainly not the least, is to DARE

DARE? Dare what? Dare to do something different! Something that you’ve always thought of doing but never really got a chance to do! I remember back in high school, I didn’t dabble in any kind of sports because I was afraid to get hurt! If there’s something I mastered then, it was the art of running.. running away from the basketball, or the volleyball. So you can imagine, when my friend invited me to join her for kickboxing, I was like, “NO WAY”?!?!? BUT when I finally got around to trying it, doing those jab-straight punches, and roundhouse kicks, I was HOOKED! Who would have thought?! Daring to do something different doesn’t have to be something extra-ordinary! Like you don’t have to go bungee-jumping (unless you really want to! ;-> ) or dabble in extreme sports! It can be doing something simple, like driving to work using a different route. Or maybe instead of ordering your usual green tea frapuccino, order instead that double shot espresso machiatto with raspberry syrup!

So to recap, there are three things that I can do to get this wonderful feeling I so enjoy. And you can do these too! That is, to SHARE, to CARE and to DARE. To do all these is always in season. Think of it, whenever you need a “pick me up” there’s no need to wait for someone to give you flowers, when you can plant and cultivate your own garden. :) Good evening!